Monday, June 12, 2006

Charles F. Brush, Archaeologist Who Piled Adventure Upon Adventure, Dies at 83
Charles F. Brush III, an archaeologist who as president of the Explorers Club persuaded his brethren to take on a singular adventure — admitting women to their den of stuffed polar bears, tarantula appetizers and overstuffed armchairs — died on June 1 in Manhattan. He was 83.

The cause was congestive heart failure, his son, Charles IV, said.

Dr. Brush, who lived in Shelter Island, N.Y., took up mountain climbing at 49, ran his first marathon at 54, and climbed the sheer Devil's Tower in Wyoming at 70, two days after taking up rock climbing. One of the legendary parties he had at his Park Avenue penthouse had Allen Ginsberg sitting in the nude chanting in front of a Buddha sculpture in the living room, The New York Times reported in 1993.

. . .

Charles IV said his father may have become bored with archaeology, so he turned to challenges like mountain climbing and scuba diving.

Bored with archaeology???!!!

I attended a function of Explorers many years ago. They are, indeed, an interesting bunch. They do tend to have an affection for the old-style adventurer aspects of archaeology. One hesitates to dismiss them out of hand as simple dilettantes, since exploration into more remote regions can indeed result in signficant discoveries even today.